Africa-Safari with D7100. Which lenses to buy?

Started Aug 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
Wade Tregaskis
Wade Tregaskis Forum Member • Posts: 85
Re: Africa-Safari with D7100. Which lenses to buy?

I really do need the 24 Mp - 1/8000 500mm for when mine 16 Mp A57 + 70-300 or mine FZ200 630mm small sensor don't really deliver.

Just throwing an idea out there: if you had a Nikon 1 of some kind - possibly displacing one of the above in your travel bag - you'd have a decent "compact" camera for quick photos and wider-angle stuff, butyou could get the mount adapter and stick the 80-400 or 50-500 or whatever on there. 2.7x crop factor.  You need good light to really get images you'd want to print, but it can be done - I have some favourites from the V1+55-300, which isn't even a fancy lens but of course you're only using the centre anyway.  I wouldn't bet on such a setup on an African safari, but if you had the Nikon 1anyway, in addition to your "real" camera, it could be an awesome long-shot.

Plus it has some features that could be really handy, like ~10fps shooting on most models - and on the V1 in fact "60fps", genuinely at full 10 MP resolution in RAW, albeit only in half second bursts... or 30fps in one second bursts... in any case, it's all about high-speed shooting which might capture that right moment.

The down-side is that the current-model Nikon 1s are surprisingly expensive.  Though the V1, which I have, is now going for easily less than $300 in body only, which isn't too bad.  $225 used from Borrowlenses, for example.

But, unfortunatelly DX bodies ignores the best angle of wide lenses, its widest angle. And due to that fact I would rather go for something like NIKKOR $500 10.5mm f/2.8 DX Fisheye and digitally process its output to obtain linear 2.8 wide images.

The Tokina 11-16 is very popular, especially in its just-updated version II incarnation.  Personally I wasn't taken with it, but I'm in the definite minority it seems.  I have the Nikon 10-24 which isn't nearly as bad as people make out.  In fact when you look at actual measurements against its incredibly highly-regarded big brother, the FX 14-24, it leaves you scratching your head as to why such a disparity of opinions.  I think it's just because it really demands particular post-processing love - DxO Optics is incredible with it, in particular.  It's actually a rather sharp and contrasty lens, it just hides it really well.

Sigma also have a surprisingly broad range of ultra-wides, some of which are quite well regarded even if uncommon.  I don't have first-hand experience with them, though.  You can obviously check out DxOmark and Photozone and so forth as well as I can.

I haven't used the 10.5 fisheye, though a friend has one and it's on my todo list to play with.  It's obviously a fair bit more specialised than the relatively rectilinear lens aforementioned.  But it is cheaper and wider aperture [than the 10-24], so if you're into astro-photgraphy at all, you'd be silly not consider it.  You'll probably never get a better chance for it than in Africa.

(I've tried the 10-24 for astro-photography, and it's possible, but not great.. f/3.5.. meh.  I could be missing something - I'm only a newbie in that realm - but... again, the Sigma 18-35/1.8 looks extremely promising )

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